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Neutrino turbine farm

Harness those darn neutrinoes and make them work
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
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10% of the energy from fusion in the core of the Sun is carried away by neutrinoes. That means at the earth they have a flux density of about 136 watts/square meter.

No known material interacts with neutrinoes. That might make this idea a non-starter.

However, supposing one could find something (I suggest an ordinary turbine plated with stuff from a neutron star) it will have many advantages over solar or wind energy.

You can put it anywhere: in the wastes of siberia, over the floes of the antartic, down a disused mine; because anywhere and everywhere, the neutrino flux does penetrate.

Some boffins have surmised that the neutrino flux is far greater than we imagine, such that the flux from the sun is insignificant. In such a scenario, in an isotropic neutrino flux, I guess it will be impossible to extract energy whatever the scheme of turbine or sails deployed. I wait for the comments of those who have a greater command of the physics involved.

As Dog Ed has pointed out, the neutrinoes out there are carrying a large amount of energy along. So this project fits into the 'interestingly impossible' category. Unless somebody comes up with a turbine blade built to manifest a strong field of weak force. If that is not a contradiction, that is.

neelandan, Mar 20 2002

Neutrino astronomy http://www.cerncour...ain/article/40/6/18
Neutrino capture experiment discussed. [bristolz, Mar 20 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       neelanden, it's very hard to make neutrinos work--they just won't pull their weight, and they hardly have any weight at all... But seriously, they can't be grabbed electromagnetically because they don't feel that force, which means they don't even interact with a tabletop the way my forehead does--they don't feel the solidity of matter, not even the matter of a neutron star. (Did you know that when you bang your head on the table it's the electrostatic repulsion between the atoms of your forehead and the table that make it hurt?) They hardly feel gravity, as you know, and being leptons they pay no attention to the 'strong' force that binds quarks, protons, and neutrons. The only thing that has any appreciable influence on a neutrino is the 'weak' force.   

       So I guess what you'd need is some way to create a large-scale manifestation of the 'weak force' which only ever operates at very short ranges inside an atomic nucleus, and I dunno if that's possible. Even in theory.   

       I just recently read that during a supernova explosion the collapsing/exploding star can briefly emit as much light as an entire galaxy, but the neutrino flux from the collapsing core of the star carries away ten thousand times more energy than that! Bismallah! One thinks of the neutrino as a silent, inoffensive little ghost yet it facilitates the most violent stellar events we know of.
Dog Ed, Mar 20 2002

       wow Dog Ed - good name for a cat then
po, Mar 20 2002

       They use perchloroethylene, a dry-cleaning solvent. (link).
bristolz, Mar 20 2002

       I can not understand why one would harness something that can pass through feet of lead and into a cloud chamber, were nothing else can pass? Would not it be more economically feasible to harness abundant sun light, wind, or wave energy and convert it to useful electrons than try to catch flies with vinegar?
Bixbyte, May 26 2002

       "Economically feasible"? A half-baker knows not of such things.
Jeremi, May 26 2002

       Cmon now, we gave "hullaballoon" a croissant. Who ever said the ideas here are supposed to be practical? Not only is this idea amusing, it plays with physics in a fun way. +
Madcat, Aug 20 2003

       <<I suggest an ordinary turbine plated with stuff from a neutron star>> The collection device would melt. Plus, it would take way too much power and money to go to a neutron star anyway. This is just about as good as saying that if enough photons hit a wheel, the wheel will start to spin. All you have to do is wait long enough. A better way would to invent a neutrino-cell much like a solar cell, however if probably wouldn't work. An occaisional neutrino does however deflect off a neutron, but very rarely.   

       Also, we haven't yet controlled the weak force. The neutrinos would have to work on quantum scales between areas of weak force in an atomic nucleus. However, you may have been able to do so about 13.6 billion years ago, assuming you could fit in a speck of universe the size of a few atoms. Cool idea though.
empty89, Aug 27 2004


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